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UvA researchers from all faculties can use the Virtual Research Environment (VRE). This is a virtual, cloud-based working environment giving researchers a secure, easy way to collaborate on data analysis. The computing power, storage capacity and other tools for managing, processing and analysing data are all customisable.

Researchers are natural collaborators, working with each other within and outside the University of Amsterdam, both in the Netherlands and abroad. During such projects, the VRE enables UvA researchers and their partners to both share and analyse data (given adequate computing power), making the researchers’ job a lot easier. Students can also gain access to the VRE to allow them to participate in a research project.

The VRE is continuously being updated based on the needs of researchers, who are consulted on its evaluation and future development. Researchers retain control, and (in the future) will be able to build their own VRE using various modules.


The VRE offers an easier way to comply with agreements and requirements: both those specific to the research team, as well as research policy and legislation such as information security policies and privacy regulations. Using a computer or laptop, researchers will always have a secure way to access VRE.

Portrait Eddie Brummelman
Copyright: UvA
The VRE helps us meet the guidelines of the General Data Protection Regulation. People should become increasingly aware of this. Eddie Brummelman

How does it work?

The VRE runs on the Microsoft Azure platform on either Linux or Windows. In the future, it will also run on the SURF Cloud and on the Amazon AWS platform. The VRE can also be linked to the data storage service for researchers, Research Drive, as well as other cloud-based or local data-storage services. Future plans to develop more service interfaces are underway, including a catalogue containing all available data-management/analysis environments and tools. The Information Manager can inform you of the technical background of working with VRE.


Do you have a question about the VRE? Please send an email message to